Of all the 3 cities we visited during this trip, we got lost the most in Kyoto.
Which is odd since we only had 2 lines to navigate as compared to 8 in Osaka.
I think it's because a lot of the signs here are in Kanji and some stops have little to 0 significant landmarks because it can get very "provincial". As a tourist lost in translation, traditional house upon traditional house can blend into one blurry picture which often lead to confusion.
The only station I found to be "iconic" was the Kyoto main station, all others tended to look alike.
Traveling at night didn't help much either....